Andrew Marvell, the Critical Heritage

By Elizabeth Story Donno | Go to book overview

47.

A two-part anonymous account of Marvell

1824, 1825

Although in large part biographical, this two-part account appearing in the Retrospective Review, a periodical founded in 1820 by Henry Southern, was to be enormously influential: parts of it were to be incorporated in the first separately published life, that of John Dove, in 1832 (see No. 50), which, in turn, became the basis for Hartley Coleridge’s two derivative accounts of Marvell in his multiply issued biography of the worthy from Yorkshire (see No. 52).

In 1844, Henry Rogers (see No. 57) published an unsigned review of Dove’s Life (which was itself to become very influential, see No. 64), and he took occasion to note that it represented a ‘pillage’ from these two articles. Acknowledging that Dove (who had provided him with ‘friendly communications’ on some points in his memoir of John Howe, see No. 25) could have been their author, he wondered if that were so why he had not acknowledged them.

The ‘copious’ quoting from both the poetry and prose is a practice followed by Dove and, to a lesser extent, by Coleridge. From this date on, Marvell’s poetry is frequently anthologized both in England and America.

Extract from Retrospective Review, 10.2 (1824), pp. 328-30, 332-41; 11.1 (1825), pp. 174-85, 193, 195.

It cannot be a matter of surprise, when the literary character of Milton was so long in struggling into public admiration, from beneath the mass of political and polemical prejudice,* that the

* The following remarkable proof, earlier than Johnson’s day, may not be known to all of our readers—‘JOHN MILTON was one whose natural parts might deservedly give him a

-141-

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